One of the only constants of Saturday Night Live is the ever-changing cast. During its 47-year-run, the show has featured more than 150 cast members. But this year, showrunner and creator Lorne Michaels is changing that approach. He’s asking veteran cast members to stay on for a few more years with an enticing offer.
Variety is reporting that Michaels asked the most tenured members of the Saturday Night Live cast to remain on through 2024, the 50th year of the show. That means locking down performers such as Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, and longest-ever-serving Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson.
Michaels and other show executives have already started their yearly search for the next crop of cast members. Variety said the search started earlier this year as an incentive for senior cast members to stay on. Adding to the cast would free them up to take off some Saturday Night Live episodes to work on other projects.
Aidy Bryant missed several shows to make Hulu’s Shrill. Cecily Strong worked on Schmigadoon for Apple TV last season. Kenan Thompson earned his own NBC show, Kenan. He missed several episodes of SNL to film the show. However, this is made easier as Michaels’ production company, Broadway Video, produces each of those shows.
Making SNL has never been easy as the show has such a short turnaround for each live show. That was complicated as the pandemic forced the cast to do the show via Zoom for several episodes. When the show returned to its familiar studio 8H, social distancing and COVID-19 protocols loomed over the production.
Saturday Night Live ended last season with a sketch that featured McKinnon, Thompson, Bryant, and Strong discussing how difficult the year had been. This led many people to speculate that they would be exiting the show during the summer. Though, none have announced their plans for next season.
Michael Che of ‘Saturday Night Live’ Faces Backlash
Fans Saturday Night Live co-head writer Michael Che received intense backlash after several messages were posted to his Instagram account attacking gymnast Simon Biles. The comments followed her pulling out of the team all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics last week. He also made a joke referencing Larry Nassar. Nassar was the former USA Gymnastics team doctor who is serving 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting dozens of former patients, including Biles and other US gymnasts.
After the comments made national news, Che claimed someone hacked his account and posted those comments.
“maaannnn, i got hacked today. Can’t believe they got me,” he posted. “Yall know I only do jokes about whites and cops. s’all good now, I changed my password and everything .. anyway yall hear about dababy tho.. ? That’s crazy .. iight. see yall at church. imma get there early.”
Che deleted all but one of his Instagram posts following the backlash.